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20110701
20110731
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made in the last year and reclaiminghe former taliban ronghold particularly in the south. another major change in the last year is the surge in afghan security forces. there are now 100,000 more afghan security forces than 18 months ago when president obama announced the surge and another 70,000 afghan soldiers and police will be trained and equipped by the end of next summer when all 33,000 u.s. search trips will have withdrwn. in the testimony to congress last week, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mollen characterized the president's decision as, quote, more aggressive and incurring more risk than mcraven had initially recommended. however, admiral mullen felt, could come only the president and the end can really determine the acceptable level of risk we must take because as he put it, quote, the truth is we would have run other kind of risks by keeping more forces in afghanistan onger. and among the other risks for the risks of perpetuating the greater afgh dependent on the forces and inhibiting the growth and keep the devotee and confidence on the part of the afgha
of international troops. i hope we can all agree that the taliban has morphed into a hybrid. it is one part terrorist organization and one part global drug trafficking organization. for the past today years, virtually every heroin processing lab raided by the dea, special forces, and afghan police has ties to the taliban. what they find is not only large quantities of opium and heroin, but also improvised explosive devices, bomb making materials, and taliban training manuals. in one raid last year, 2056 pounds of high-grade heroin with a wholesale value of $56 million was seized. experts agree it may take many years to get the drug trade in afghanistan under control. as the military begins to scale back its presence this month, i think we have got to ensure that our civilians continue to support counternarcotics efforts in afghanistan. that is really important. a year ago this month, this caucus released a bipartisan report that contained several policy recommendations. i like to highlight the progress being made and what remains to be done. first, the good news. the caucus recommended incr
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